[MUD-Dev] Blog about GDC implies changes to MMORPG population

Koster, Raph rkoster at soe.sony.com
Thu May 26 09:21:21 New Zealand Standard Time 2005


Michael Hartman wrote:
> Koster, Raph wrote:

>> I feel the same way about devices like no-drop items and
>> "soulbinding."  First introduced in order to address twinking
>> problems (which are at root because of levels), and now bandied
>> about as a means of eliminating real-money-trades (RMT), it's
>> both a step towards single-player gaming and a band-aid on top of
>> the real problems.

> I look at "soulbinding" as having a more important benefit to
> games that support it, and that is promoting tradeskills.

> In Real Life, products wear out. Products get replaced with next
> year's slightly better version with more features. In MMOs,
> players really dislike the idea of their equipment wearing out to
> the point of being destroyed.

I've managed to put it into two successful MMORPGs without the
playerbase quitting in disgust. They may dislike it, but they also
live with it.

> So having items soulbind (or perhaps customized is a better term)
> is one way to get items OUT of the game so crafters can have some
> customers.

Abstracted, you're saying "one way to remove items from the game is
to soulbind them so that the march of levels renders them obsolete
anyway."  Should you remove levels, soulbinding fails to accomplish
this purpose.  It also fails in the event that there is a reduced
influx of players rising through the levels.

Really, player crafting needs to be about consumables. Whether
that's done by limiting what players craft to certain consumable
items, or by making all items degrade, is irrelevant. Soulbinding in
this sense is just an alternate form of degradation.

-Raph
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